A new research report released by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) showed that Kelowna-based FreshGrade is among the most widely-used and highly-respected digital reporting tools for BCTF members. The BCTF invited each of its 33,000 members to participate in the Digital Reporting Survey from February to April 2017 to give insight into the digital tools used for student assessment and communication to parents, as well as to identify any issues that should be pursued to support teacher needs.
“We are excited and encouraged that such a high percentage of teachers using FreshGrade are achieving better results with instruction and assessment,” said David Haight, FreshGrade’s director of business development.
The results demonstrate that FreshGrade is used by 26 percent of BCTF teachers, making it the most-used independent education technology tool, trailing only email, the British Columbia government’s MyEducation BC tool, and word processors/hard copy in total use. FreshGrade use is highest at the primary and intermediate school levels, with 34 percent of survey participants at each of these levels reporting that they use the tool. In addition to its growing adoption, FreshGrade is highly-rated among users, with especially high ratings for its flexibility and for improving assessment, curriculum implementation, and communication.
“The recently-released study from the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation was quite an important undertaking, as it surveyed teachers on the tools they use to execute some of the most essential functions in education: assessing learning and communicating progress to parents and students. We applaud the BCTF for studying these key topics,” said Lee Wilson, FreshGrade President. “In addition to recognizing the overall importance of this study, we are also pleased to see that the vast majority of teachers using FreshGrade have felt supported in their efforts to lead, assess, and communicate their students’ learning.”
Survey participants were asked to rate the tools they use on six different factors. Participants rated only the tools they personally used, so the rankings are based on individuals’ assessment of tools with which they are intimately familiar. Besides the tools mentioned in the opening paragraph, Scholantis, Google Apps, and personal and school websites were among the tools rated by educators. FreshGrade received the highest rating for three of the six factors: flexibility, improving assessment, and being “appropriate and useful for implementing the new curriculum.” FreshGrade also rated among the best tools for “facilitates and/or improves communication with parents/guardians,” with 82 percent of participants saying they agree with this statement, and for “facilitates and/or improves communication with students,” with 66 percent in agreement and only 19 percent disagreeing with this statement.
Participants also shared some qualitative feedback that supports FreshGrade’s flexibility and its benefits for improving communication, especially with family members who can’t be in the classroom. Many participants who use FreshGrade remarked that they use their personal smartphones to take photos and record videos, which enables them to make the best use of the tool even in schools or districts that haven’t been provided with district-owned devices, such as iPads.
“These teachers have made it clear that our tool is providing meaningful support on both fronts.” said David Haight, FreshGrade’s director of business development.
“We are excited and encouraged that such a high percentage of teachers using FreshGrade are achieving better results with instruction and assessment,” said David Haight, FreshGrade’s director of business development. “We understand from our discussions with educators nationwide that demonstrating evidence of students’ continuous improvement is essential, and it’s equally important to have a way to communicate that progress to both parent and student. These teachers have made it clear that our tool is providing meaningful support on both fronts.”
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